The Fall of Babel

Languages: there are thousands of the things, although you may only encounter a handful in your everyday life – they’re a bit like religions, in a way. Languages are related to each other and can be grouped into “families,” and it’s this concept that a recent (approximately a month old) That’s a Fact video, Language Families, alludes to:

It looks like it’s been so long since I last tried to embed these that they’ve forgotten to prevent me. Use the link if it stops working. Continue reading

Many Kinds of Ant

Atta cephalotes - Hans HillewaertThere are some interesting conclusions to be drawn from Jeffrey Tomkins article for today – called Newly Discovered ‘Orphan Genes’ Defy Evolution. This may seem odd, not least because a) all three of those pairs of words are common and uninteresting Tomkins-isms and b) the “recent review paper” he begins by talking about was actually published in 2009, but bear with me here. Continue reading

Backwards Tree

A new article by Jeffrey Tomkins is out: Epigenetic Study Produces ‘Backwards’ Human-Ape Tree. The subject is a paper called “Regional DNA methylation differences between humans and chimpanzees are associated with genetic changes, transcriptional divergence and disease genes” in the Journal of Human Genetics – it’s open access, but a little dense. Continue reading

What I’ve Been Doing

This trimester – which we’re getting towards the middle of now – seems to be even busier than the last, hence my repeated failure to post regularly (I’ll see what I can do about that tonight). The animal biology paper that I’m taking turned to neurons and the nervous system this week, and in spite of the pressures the outcome was frankly inevitable:

Code screenshot 2013-08-14 Continue reading

Playing Rounders

A worn-out baseballThere are three That’s a Fact videos to catch up on. The first, Throwing a Strike, appears to be on the least interesting topic. Here’s a transcript:

Summertime in the US can mean a few things: grilling outdoors, road trips, and of course baseball. Great pitchers make throwing a ball look easy, but there’s a lot more to it than you might think. It all starts in the premotor cortex of the brain, where thousands of plans are stored, plans that coordinate whole groups of muscles. Those plans go to the motor cortex. They also go to the cerebellum, which is like a gatekeeper which sorts out data from the tendons, muscles, eyes, ears, and skin.

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